Well, yesterday Victor and I left early for the embassy, by taxi to be sure to get there in plenty of time. We waited a little while in the wrong line before an official redirected us. Pass through security...leave camera, cell phone...go into building, MORE security...then to a room, take a number and wait. "HURRY UP and wait" that is. Because you have your appointment, and you'd better be there well before time, but if they don't see you till about an hour later, THAT'S OKAY. Bad news - they couldn't do anything for me regarding my birth certificate. I have to get an apostille. More on that in a bit. Good news - they COULD give me a document, an affidavit that I am indeed a widow with nothing impeding me from committing to another marriage. Notarized, sealed, 50 dollars. Next step: to a local internet to see about the aforementioned apostille. But first - we left without breakfast, so we stopped for a sandwich and coffee. It was about 11 when we left for the internet. Bad news - nothing I can do online - I have to send the birth certificate BACK to Texas with a form requesting said apostille which more or less says, "Really, I promise, this is a real-for-real, official, genuine, honest-to-goodness, swear-to-God, cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die BIRTH CERTIFICATE." NEVERMIND that I needed said document for the FIRST marriage (and have the marriage certificate therefrom) ...AND to get my driver license...AND to get my passport. Okay...so...that is something I have to do when I get home because there just isn't time between now and when I leave to wait for things to get lost in the mail ANYWAY.
Then on to Relaciones Exteriores with the widow document so Peru officials could put THEIR stamp on it - about 25 soles ( 10 bucks). Bad news - have to RETURN for said document on MONDAY, SO, no returning to Pucallpa for the holiday. While in the neighborhood, we looked up the address of OFFICIAL translator for when I DO have the apostille, and went - walking distance from Relaciones Exteriores. The gentleman was very helpful, explaining. Of course, it wouldn't suffice for ME to translate it, no, it would have to have all kinds of stamps and seals and stickers and ribbons. So what we're looking at is a return trip to Peru some time within the next year (so my widowhood doc doesn't expire), bringing the blessed apostille together with the birth certificate (and a copy thereof, to be safe) to the embassy for THEIR seal of approval/notarization, then to the translator where it is left to be translated; return the following day (50 soles, about 20 bucks, barring more inflation);pick it up the following day to take to Relaciones Exteriores for another 10 bucks, leaving it to be picked up in a couple of days. All in all about a week in Lima.
BUT while it may SEEM to be bad news - we can't go through with a civil ceremony THIS trip - I'm accustomed to looking for God's hand working behind the scenes. We COULD have found out about all these little details in advance, had we a clue - had Levi not been working 7 days a week, he could have ascertained what I needed to bring - so...What lesson is there in this? What "working together for good for me because I love You, Lord" are You doing? Immediate: Victor and I have been able to impart some words of wisdom to niece Jhoana on child rearing; water some seed of the gospel in bro-in-law Juan; I helped Juan Carlos with his chemistry homework (at least, I HOPE I helped!); I've had this special time to get to know other family members, Victor as well as Nilsa; we've BOTH learned a lot on this trip...And I know that no experience, good or "bad" is wasted in God's economy. The wait may be necessary to ensure that Levi is with the parents yet a while, because they ARE elderly. And I am blessed in that Levi, too, tends to have a positive outlook. I was also considering the fact that, since we have no documentation of the informal marriage from last year, technically I am still a widow, and will have been the entire year, which will give me a better tax break next year...which may help with the cost of returning to tie up loose ends. But MEANWHILE...the plan is Monday to go to Rel. Ext and pick up the document, then stop at a bus station to see about getting passage ASAP Monday (leaving late afternoon); then a trip "home" to get our stuff and then head back to the station. If we pull THAT off, I can at least hope to be in Pucallpa the afternoon of my birthday. Of course, if nothing is available Monday we'll have to wait for the next bus out. One step at a time. Meanwhile, in the hopes that we WILL leave Monday, I hope to be able to treat the family to dinner on Sunday.
Other good stuff - I did a LOT of walking yesterday, and I am sure all my morning walks with Papito helped me to be able to do it - but I DID have to take aspirin as soon as we got back. Also, we got a LITTLE lost after getting off the bus in Surco, and while Victor asked directions, I sat on a bench in the park and saw a HUMMINGBIRD! It came and went a few times, and of course by the time I had my camera out and ready, it had disappeared. Hummingbird sighting is to me a little love note from God!